Strategies to help learning disabled students take tests
Taking tests may seem like an overwhelming exercise for those with learning disabilities. Even though tests are essential to education, parents and educators should be aware of test-taking strategies that can help reduce anxiety and help children perform better in class.For children with learning disabilities, a strategy based on their individual learning style may be beneficial.
How to help your child improve study skills?
You can play a critical role in preventing a negative cycle, where your child’s poor test performance discourages him from applying himself and learning better study strategies. Start off by finding why your child is having difficulty. Ask yourselves these questions:
- Does your child know what to study?
- Does he use a systematic method for studying?
- Are his study skills inefficient?
Here are some ways in which you can help your child with learning disability study better for upcoming tests:
1. Ensure your child knows what to study
Children often don’t know the breadth and depth of the material to be covered in an upcoming test. In order to determine that your child knows what to study, ask them if they have checked with the teacher about the content of the test. Check if the teacher has provided a study guide or practice test, or if there is a review session your child can attend. Figure out if your child has a plan for studying. Help your child understand that the teacher may offer clues about important details to focus on when studying for a test. Ask him to pay attention to small phrases that teachers say and work on it. Also, try and assess your child’s listening skills, attention, and focus. Do they listen for the teachers’ remarks about important stuff? Active listening during everyday lessons helps children to zero in on key facts or skills that teacher may include in a test.
2. Make use of hints in the Textbook
If possible, review your child’s textbook and discuss the use of different size or colored fonts, figures, etc. in the chapter that there will be a test on. Pay attention to your child’s learning and reading style. Remind him to use reading strategies such as reviewing the chapter and section headings and converting them to questions. Review words, phrases, and sentences that appear in bold type and denote their importance. Make sure they study the pictures and tables, and look at sidebar information. Encourage your child to use colored highlighters to flag important information in their books to make for easier review later on.
3. Learning to Study
Your child may need certain strategies for organizing, remembering, prioritizing, and shifting approaches flexibly. These processes help to make learning easier, accurate and efficient. Teach self-checking strategies such as editing, planning, monitoring, and revising, as many children do not use these automatically. These strategies have been shown to be efficient for all students, particularly those with learning or attention problems.
While there may be many strategies to help learning disabled students take tests, these are the basics before they start preparing. When they have a plan at hand, it becomes a little bit easier to take tests.